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March 17, 1989 - Image 44

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-03-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

IN WOO

CONTEMPORARY
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Nov carrying









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Matzah Covers
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Candlesticks

HIAS Might Reject
Offer Of Refugee Slots

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Washington (JTA) — The
United States is making a
one-time offer to increase the
refugee quota for Soviet Jews,
Armenians and Pentecostals
by 6,000 slots.
But because of the strings
attached, the main private
agency helping Soviet Jew's
come to the United States is
lukewarm about the offer.
In negotiations between the
executive branch and Con-
gress in September, the State
Department said it had
enough funds to resettle
84,000 refugees worldwide for
the fiscal year beginning last
Oct. 1. But the Department of
Health and Human Services
said it had enough money to
cover resettlement costs for
90,000 refugees.
Sheppy Abramowitz, the
State Department's refugee
affairs spokeswoman, at-
tributed the quirk to different
refugee ceilings approved by
various congressional
committees.
The State Department
covers the refugees' trans-
portation, processing and in-
itial resettlement costs. The
Health and Human Services

Department takes care of
long-term resettlement costs,
such as Medicaid.
Abramowitz said the
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Socie-
ty, which helps Soviet Jews;
World Relief, which helps
Soviet Pentecostals; and
Tolstoy, which helps Arme-
nians, will have have a crack
at the first 6,000.
HIAS told the government
it is "very interested but not
prepared to make any com-
mitments" until U.S. refugee
funds are made available to
all Soviet Jews who want to
enter the United States as
refugees, Zukerman said.
Officials of both Jewish
organizations and the U.S.
government believe the
number of Jews allowed to
leave the Soviet Union this
year will far exceed the U.S.
refugee quota for the USSR.
HIAS is awaiting reaction
on Capitol Hill to a bill in-
troduced March 1 in the
Senate that would double the
U.S. refugee ceiling for
Soviets this fiscal year from
25,000 to 50,000 and provide
an additional $100 million.

Groups Urge Delay
On Waiving Vanik

Washington (JTA) — Two
major Soviet Jewry organiza-
tions told Secretary of State
James Baker that they do not
at present support waivers of
the Jackson-Vanik or -Steven-
son amendments.
The two measures, which
restrict U.S. government aid,
most-favored-nation trade
status and -loans to Soviet-
bloc countries, could be waiv-
ed this year by Congress
should Soviet human rights
improvements be judged
sufficient.
The National Conference on
Soviet Jewry and the Union
of Councils for Soviet Jews, in
separate meetings with
Baker, urged him to raise
specific concerns at his Mon-
day meeting in Vienna with
Soviet Foreign Minister
Eduard Shevardnadze.
Both groups were assured
that human rights will figure
prominently on the agenda of
the meeting.
Shoshana Cardin, chair-
woman of the National Con-
ference, said Baker was told
that the organization is
reassessing its position,
which has been to oppose
waivers of the amendments.
Micah Naftalin, national

director of the UCSJ, said his
group told Baker not to sup-
port a waiver of the Jackson-
Vanik Amendment until the
Soviets follow through on pro-
mised emigration reforms.
These include elimination,
as early as. April, of the
waiting period for those
designated as holding state
secrets; resolution of all
outstanding refusenik cases;
and an increase in emigration
to levels approaching the
1979 high of more than
51,000.

Soviets Still
Denying Visas

Washington (JTA) — The
Soviet Union has given "fresh
refusals" to Jews wishing to
emigrate who were allegedly
privy to state secrets,
refusenik Judith Lurie said
last week from Moscow in a
telephone call with B'nai
B'rith International.
On another issue, Lurie
said the new Jewish cultural
center in Moscow, the
Solomon Mikhoels Center,
which opened Feb. 12, has
been closed temporarily for
"repairs."

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